An article on reasons why you should never give your dog bone, health risks of giving dog a bone, and what kind of bones are safe for dogs?

Dogs and Bones: A Risky Combo

Dogs have been chewing on bones for thousands of years. This is what nature intended, right? Well maybe, but it’s an activity that is not without its risks.
As a Veterinary Teaching Hospital, we’ve seen the ill-effects of feeding dogs bones numerous times, with some even fatal. The risks are significant enough that we would like to share 10 detrimental effects of feeding bones to your dogs.

1. Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.

A dog with broken teeth due to chewing bones

2.Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.

3. Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.

4. Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.

5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!

6. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy — a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools — to try to remove the bone from the stomach.

7. Bone gets stuck in intestines. This will cause a blockage and it may be time for surgery.

8. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.

9. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.

10. Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian as peritonitis can kill your dog.

Recommended: Read other foods you should not give dogs

Look at feeding bones in the same way I do letting dogs run loose. Is it natural? Yes. Do dogs like it? Yes. Are there some potential benefits? Yes … until misfortune strikes. There are many ways to safely satisfy your dog’s desire to chew (e.g., toys made out of twisted rope fibers or dense rubber), to promote dental hygiene (e.g., daily tooth brushing or dental diets), and to provide your dog with the high-quality foods and balanced nutrition he needs to stay healthy. If you love your dog, do not give bones…..

Feel free to consult the hospital for more details on how to best feed your pets.

We would be sharing soon on health risks of other common food items like “dog noodles” and “dog rice”.

Credit: Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Ilorin (first published on their Facebook page)


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